House Democrats tasked literal Manchurian candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Beijing, with making the argument on Tuesday that former president Donald Trump had spent months priming his base for the Jan. 6 uprising at the US Capitol.
After being exposed for having maintained a long-term sexual relationship with a Chinese spy, Swalwell—who technically represents California—was appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as one of the House impeachment managers in its do-over effort to bar Trump from running for re-election.
The apparent move to rehab Swalwell’s reputation also followed Pelosi’s decision to keep her youthful protégé installed on the House Intelligence Committee.
Swalwell stealthily targeted GOP members of the Senate jury to try to sway their partiality by pointing to specific tweets Trump made criticizing “RINO” members of the deliberative body such as then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“Sometimes there’s a reason to dispute an election: Sometimes the count is close. Sometimes we ask for a recount or we go to court—that’s entirely appropriate,” Swalwell said.
“But what President Trump did was different,” he continued. “What President Trump did was the polar opposite of what any of us would do if we lost an election, because once the outcome is clear and a judge rules, we concede.”
The comment effectively perpetuated the falsehood that members of the Left and others in the Chinese-backed Establishment have continued to spread to dismiss the credible evidence of massive vote fraud during the 2020 election.
Swalwell made passing reference to one such allegation, the questionable election rates in Detroit, Michigan, by taking one of Trump’s statements out of context and cherry-picking numbers to refute it.
But rather than directly address the underlying cause of the so-called insurrection that they claimed Trump had incited, the Democrat impeachment managers appeared poised largely to dismiss it by trying to label the vote fraud concerns as “The Big Lie,” a term they borrowed from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
“He directed all of the rage that he had incited to Jan. 6,” Swalwell claimed. “That was his last chance to stop the peaceful transition of power.”
In addition to his efforts to appeal to Republican senators and divide them against the president, Swalwell also pursued another manipulative tactic of trying to sway Trump supporters who engaged only as bystanders.
“During this trial, when we talk about the violent mob … we do not mean every American at the rally,” he claimed.
But that appeal was inconsistent with the rhetoric that his own party members have used to clamp down on their stranglehold on power and to try to deride all Republican Trump supporters as subscribing to conspiracies like the QAnon theory.
Swalwell’s radical colleagues also have demanded that nearly 150 GOP members of Congress—including key senators—should be forcibly removed from office, claiming that their own efforts to use a constitutionally supported political remedy were tantamount to incitement.
But he veered away from such calls while attempting to secure the votes of at least 11 GOP senators still needed to secure a conviction if the six who already defected continue standing with the 50 Democratic senators who comprise a monolithic anti-Trump voting bloc.
In fact, Swalwell appeared to commend the Electoral College challenges waged by a dozen GOP senators including Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas.
“What our commander-in-chief did was wildly different than what anyone here did to raise election concerns,” Swalwell said.